The ArtLess Group – Launch on 28th April 2014

The School of Arts is establishing a new platform and network called The ArtLess Group. All PhDs in the School are eligible to join.

The aim is to use The ArtLess Group as a way of developing projects, working on them collaboratively, and sourcing funds and shared connections where possible. It can also work as a network for information. It is possible to join without taking a project forward – it might be that things emerge for you through the exchange. As a platform to be defined by its members, the Group will be able to work in numerous ways, looking outward to work with community and public partnerships as well as to local Birkbeck initiatives. In the current climate, working collectively and making creative use of the fullness of our resource is essential. That common resource might include funding information and exchange, kickstarter campaigns and small pots of funds won from different sources, but it equally involves a communal pooling of expertise and connection, buildings, spaces and contacts, projects that feel like they have a wider necessity about them as well as those that relate more specifically to our research and its communication. ArtLess would be a place to go with an idea or project, and will provide a shared identity for its members that might be used as a kind of imprimatur. How far can we take it? How can we continue to realize work, take risks with ideas, when funds are difficult to source?

If you are interested in joining ArtLess, write an email to Carol Watts at briefly outlining what you’d ideally use your membership to do, and get signed up. We will have a launch of ArtLess on the evening of 28 April.

Project: The Arts of Experiment

Carol will shortly be launching an inaugural project for ArtLess called The Arts of Experiment, funded by the AHRC. It will involve the creation and curation of a virtual exhibition under that name. There are places for a group of a maximum of 15 PhD students who will need to be ArtLess members in order to apply. This group will manage the project with a small group of staff and be trained in curation and exhibition development – whatever their specialism and research interest. The exhibition will be offered on the international museums market working with the International Touring Exhibitions programme of our partners in Bury Museum of Art, Manchester.  Two Birkbeck PhD students will be selected as interns and travel to see the exhibition pitched in the Far East. If we are successful in securing this, funds will return to The ArtLess Group for further projects. Other spin-offs are possible and may seed other projects for the wider Group. Information about how to apply for this opportunity will be available after joining The ArtLess Group, and selection will be made on the basis of the application. We are planning the process to work alongside doctoral commitments.

You are welcome to contact Professor Carol Watts if you have any queries. In the meantime, become a member of ArtLess!

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